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Female maturation, egg characteristics and fatty acids profile in the seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus

AuthorsPlanas, Miguel ; Quintas, Patricia ; Chamorro, Alexandro ; Silva, C.
KeywordsLong-snouted seahorse
Hippocampus guttulatus
Female maturation
Inter-clutch interval
Egg size
Fatty acids
Issue Date27-Jul-2010
CitationAnimal Reproduction Science 122: 66-73 (2010)
AbstractKnowledge of the biology and ecology of seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) is scarce, but has been increasing in recent years due to their conservation status. Captivity breeding programmescan be a valuable source of information on the reproductive biology of seahorses.A captive broodstock of Hippocampus guttulatus Cuvier 1829 was established in 2006 and kept under natural-like photoperiod and temperature. Female maturation was studied during the whole reproductive season in 2007. Most egg clutches were released from May (17 ◦C; 15L:9D) to October (18 ◦C; 13L:11D), with peak releases occurring in June–August (20 ◦C; 16L:8D–14L:10D). Throughout the study, four egg morphotypes were found;tworegression equations were proposed for estimating egg/yolk volume based on measurements of egg and yolk biometrics. Female weight was positively correlated with yolk volume/egg volume ratio (Yv/Ev) (rs = 0.523, n = 21, P < 0.05) but not with Ev or Yv. Egg dry weight (567±141 g) was correlated with Yv (rs = 0.384, n = 31, P < 0.05).Meanclutch size and clutch biomass were 242±142 eggs and 137±87mg dry weight, respectively. Clutch size was positively correlated to female weight (rs = 0.479, n = 25, P < 0.05). Inter-clutch intervals (days) were affected by temperature (◦C) as described by the following equation: Interval = 357.55e−0.1283 Temp. Estimated inter-clutch intervals at 16, 18 and 20 ◦C were 45.9, 35.5 and 27.5 days, respectively. Egg total lipids accounted for 31.9±3.1% dry weight. Absolute lipid content in eggs was correlated with egg dry weight (rs = 0.907, n = 41, P < 0.001) and Yv (rs = 0.384, n = 41, P < 0.5). In decreasing order of relative percentage, the most important fatty acids, were 18:1n9, 16:0, 18:2n6, 20:5n3, 18:0 and 22:6n-3. The level of n-3 HUFA was 18.5±0.7% (38.4±3.3 mg/g dry weight). The profile of fatty acids in eggs resembled that displayed by the broodstock diet (enriched adult Artemia).
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2010.07.008
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